I can see from email and social media traffic that enthusiasm for the new year is high, but folks are also feeling a bit of fear and concern. I want to assure you that, even though it will look very different than any school year we have lived to date, we are ready for an outstanding year. Yesterday, I shared with staff that we will all come to the table with compassion, patience, understanding, flexibility and grace. So many have invested so much to prepare for the year ahead, and there is still a lot to do. But, as an FBISD family, we are connecting with each other and preparing to serve our community in new ways. I am confident that we are well prepared for the challenges ahead.
As I shared last week, we have spent many months building an instructional system for a successful launch of the year, and campus principals are now moving forward with the implementation of these plans. You can expect to hear more information about device distributions, campus schedules and other school-related matters directly from your campus principal, and at the District level, we will continue to prepare for the transition to face-to-face learning and provide you updates as there is more to share.
With that said, I want to share a few District updates and reminders:
Enrollment Verification and Technology Deployment: As a reminder, the online enrollment verification process is open for all FBISD families through August 3 at 11:59 p.m., and it is important that everyone complete this process for their students. We need to make sure that all information in Skyward is correct, and the information from the Back to School Readiness Form will be used to deploy devices to our students who need them. Device deployment will begin at campuses August 5, and students requesting loaner devices and who have completed forms, including the Lending Library forms, will be in the first phase of deployment. We are asking everyone to complete the enrollment verification by August 3 so that we can make sure that there is no delay in getting devices to those who need them.
Learning Centers: Parents who would like to have his/her child in one of the Learning Centers will need to select this option on the Back to School Readiness Form in order to be considered for placement. Learning Centers will provide a safe environment and adult supervision as students participate in online learning with their teachers. Based on the interest we’ve received thus far, we know we will only be able to serve a limited number of students, based on staff availability. Please be patient as we work through the requests. We will follow up to notify those that have been assigned a spot, as well as those on the waiting list. We are also working to establish partnerships in our community to create models similar to the Learning Center with daycare centers and non-profit organizations. These partnerships could be free or fee-based. We will continue to provide regular updates as plans develop.
Video Alert: FBISD has developed comprehensive protocols that will be in place as our staff and students return to buildings, and this includes daily no-contact temperature checks for all staff. These health and safety protocols follow strict guidelines from the CDC, TEA and OSHA. While we will be beginning instruction online, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the protocols so that all our students understand what to expect.
Child Nutrition: Please be on the lookout for information about the Free and Reduced Meal application, as the period to sign up will begin August 3. We know that many families in our community may need support due to the changing economic conditions, and we could use your help in spreading the word about these benefits. In the coming days, we will also be sharing more information about updated Grab and Go meal sites that will remain operational once we launch the 2020-21 school year. The sites are being finalized, but we are awaiting information from the TDA that would allow us to continue to provide these without cost to our families. Without this waiver, payment will be required for students who do not qualify for free and reduced meals beginning the first day of school.
SAT Testing: We are working to support the scheduled August SAT administration. Be on the lookout for more information.
I’ve shared before that the guidance we are receiving is a moving target, but I want our entire FBISD family to know that we are staying the course to make the decisions that are best for our community of staff, students and families. We have strong plans, systems and protocols in place for the launch of the year, and our organization is primed to continue offering an exceptional educational experience for our students.